Eastbourne Extreme - Freewave report
3 August 2005
I would be surprised if you hadn't heard about this event as Surfkraft Team Captain, Ian Kraft, put a lot of time and effort into making sure the whole world knew about the event that would see Eastbourne transformed from blue-rinse capital of the south to the Extreme Sports mecca of Europe!
There was loads going on and this always makes an event more enjoyable as there is a general buzz and you get a lot of accidental spectators to the windsurfing which is a great way to get people into the sport and show them what it is all about. I arrived in my new van (not new, unfortunately, but new to me and about to transform my life!) on Saturday morning to find glorious sunshine and the stirrings of a sea breeze - still calm enough to be chilled about rigging but full of promise for a good day of action.
There was a small freewave fleet - dominated by youths and juniors which is great - these guys are ripping and it was a great chance for them to get more of the limelight. The ladies fleet was huge so I knew I would have my work cut out, but luckily they were so worried about the opposition they all backed out so I joined the youth fleet.
The wind came up nicely and we ran 3 'first' rounds back to back - this didn't result in anything as the last round was the one that counted, but meant that the guys on the beach got to see more action - all good for the sport and the sponsors (which included Eurovans). We then ran the usual format of a round each then losers final and final to ge the final results.
Pip was on top form - now officially a member of the Pro men's fleet, and looking the part after a winter of training / initiation with Ben Proffit and others out in Cape Town. Pipped to the post, however, by the indomitable Terry Luxton - the freestyle guru managed to sneak in some old-school moves, like the classic rail ride, alongside his own classics - flakas, spock 540s etc... Sav was flamboyant as ever in the water - one handed duck gybes and all sorts to impress the judges and win a well deserved 3rd!
1. Terry Luxton (K688)
2. Pip Pardoe (K124)
3. Sav (Master) K1962
4. Darren Thurston (K772)
5. Simon Crowther (K986)
The youths and juniors were popping out some wicked moves - most impressively the Gecko, a kind of non-planing flaka / upwind 360 kind of thing where you sink the nose of the board. I was surprised as I managed to not come last against the elastic-limbed youths - and managed to come 3rd in the heat where I actually missed 5 minutes of it as after the first heat I ended up downwind of the competition area and ended up with a bit of a walk!
1. Tom Parsons K156
2. Adam Lewis K516
3. Will Jones K308
4. Joshua Willmot K940
So after a great day of sunshine and wind, with the added smugness that comes from a days sailing in the UK in boardies and rashie, most of the guys got ready to party at Namaskar - another one of the event sponsors. The party was kicking as ever, by all accounts, although for once I missed it as I was off to Fuerte for a week of training with the Morenos and all the PWA girls! So I was glad that the wind didn't materialise the next day as I was missing it anyway! Results from Saturday stood and the prizes look great from the pics - thanks again to the sponsors, Eurovans, who provided cool trophies. I hope I get one for winning the ladies as it would look great on the dashboard of my new transporter!
Thanks to Ian Kraft for organising the event and putting so much time and effort into ensuring this was a wicked weekend - plans started for this months ago! And to the sponsors - Eurovans, Namaskar for the party etc... And as ever to the Freewave team - Trevor, Linda and Julian etc. Julian managed to make walking up the beach look pretty extreme as he is on crutches due to a nasty sounding broken heel!